And here’s the album of the year – Rockstar

Posted: October 1, 2011 by moifightclub in bollywood, cinema, music, reviews
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

If you want music on your twitter timeline, you must follow Rohit. And if you are lucky enough, your mailbox will be flooded with some evergreen goodies. So when it came to a post on the most awaited album of the year, who better than him to do the job.

With Couples Retreat and some bits here and there, i thought we have lost Rahman. And lost him for Retreat? That’s worst. But it seems he is back and how. As one of the song goes, i wanna sing O nadaan parindey ghar aa ja..for him. Hope we get more. Read On…

In the times of ‘gone with the click’ I cannot remember the last time when the curiosity of a music score being released was even half as it was for the soundtrack of ‘Rockstar’. Guilt is my witness as I shamelessly searched all the ‘shady’ sites to catch hold of this album because right from the first promo we could all smell ‘Rahman on the rocks’ soundtrack. Does it live up to the hype? (Yes T-series, we are talking about the artificial hype you created…Boo you for that by the way!)

1. Phir se udd chala – A folkish chorus of girls humming a tune which you associate with hill stations normally, welcomes you to this song with Mohit Chauhan taking over almost instantly. A song set up with a nomadic feel and the usually accused of being ‘Instrument heavy’ AR Rahman gives us a flavor of how can he blend the music in the background. The first 2 minutes successfully create the anticipation of the song taking off and Mohit chauhan doesnt disappoint throughout. A very positive song.

2. Jo bhi main – Guitar…Yes ‘THAT’guitar starts off with Mohit chauhan throwing his voice melodiously. If you hear attentively you will find the chorus (which is brilliant throughout the album) is set in a very theatrical and live concert style. It doesn’t give you the feeling that a few back up vocals were called in the studio to ‘sing’ (like the ones in the soundtrack of Rock On). The music setting is mostly soft and almost all the ‘hysterics’ are done by a wonderful mix of the ‘crowd’ and Mohit chauhan. Meaning wise, a very deep song especially the part where lyricist has revealed that all of us are just mirrors….I just cannot get the beautiful and very theatrical crowd effect of the song. Two thumbs up!

 3. Kateya karoon – The punjabi folk sounds welcome you to a bubbly song mixed with good bass to begin with and then the characteristic (and almost continuous ‘hoye hoye’ chorus). Harshdeep Kaur has sung this song in a very ‘Jaspinder Narula’ style by occassionally making her voice heavy. A generally happy song. Personally speaking, It did not touch me at all because I felt that the song just couldn’t take off. The song iis just under 4 minutes so it just comes and goes.

4. Kun Faya Kun – AR Rahman starts and is accompanied by a very ‘dargah like’ harmonium and Javed ali joins. The surreal atmosphere of this composition is very infectious and you would definitely end up listening to it more than once. The ‘beautiful romance between ‘claps’ and a slow guitar is ‘oh so very Rahman’. Javed Ali in between calls out to the power that be. Mohit Chauhan joins the party and gives the song his soul. The part where Mohit is reciting words with a very faint harmonium is what makes this song very very special. The near jugalbandi feel towards the end of the song is surreal and hasn’t been heard for a long time. A very pure song. If you feel it reminds you of ‘Khwaja mere khwaja’ then the purpose of the song is accomplished because when you call out to ‘Maula’, it doesn’t matter if someone else has remembered ‘Maula’ before you. Again, the way the song ends is very very theatrical with AR Rahman leaving a haunting echo.

5. Sheher mein – Karthik and Mohit – Not a melodious earth shattering song but a funny song largely thanks to the overall sound of it. The ‘composer’ is very vocal about how should Mohit Chauhan sing this song to ensure that the song is made ‘caller tune’ and is a ‘hit in UP and Bihar’. Mohit by the way croons it well. This will be a treat to see in the film. Clearly the composer (in the film) wants Mohit chauhan to stick to the ‘hit formula’ and not ‘innovate’…but does Mohit listen? Melodiously NO!

6. Hawa Hawa – Acoordion, voilin and a catchy chorus start this retro feel song with somewhat Arabian undertone. A good song because of the way Mohit chauhan has sung it. Hear it attentively and you can almost feel Mohit chauhan dancing in the studio while singing this. The musical setting you might argue is very ‘Zubeida’ like but then hear it and you will hear words like ‘waat’ and ‘bhajiya’! Towards the end you do feel that may be the composer is trying a little too hard. Might grow when the film hits the theatres. (Mohit ‘Meows’ in this song by the way) : )

7. Aur Ho – Mohit and Alma ferovic – A sinking feeling. Thats what the beginning tells you and Mohit chauhan confirms it with very powerful lyrics. The song has a ‘satrangi rey’ (Dil Se) feeling. The instruments are usually repeating short notes to create an eerie feeling. Mohit chauhan at times fades and then comes back almost dreamy/drugged with Alma in the background crying out. A song perfect for theatre performances depicting pain. The song really ends on a high. beautifully.

8. Nadaan Parindey – AR Rahman and Mohit chauhan – Carol like start with electric guitar. The song starts with Rahman requesting one to come back. The song has a very pop feel to it (Ok Ok I will use ‘pop’ and ‘rock’ interchangeably). The words like ‘Har karam ke kapdey mailey hain’ means that the song is advocating peace. Mohit chauhan almost cries out the fact that you will come back home no matter which road you take. The ‘chun chun khaiyoo maas’ (lines from Kabir I guess) are a misfit in the song so I did not like them at all. You might.

9. Tum Ko -Kavita subramaniam – From the start of this song, I got a feeling that this song is an old Rahman song. I hate to mention this but this came across as the weakest song of the album. Although the use of sarangi and tabla is very ghazal like, the song didn’t touch me at all. May be it was because of the fact that the other songs didn’t have me believe that there could be a ghazal like composition woven in between.

10. Sadda Haq – Yes…HELLL YES! Orianthi starts the guitar and tells you quite clearly that this would be the song that will result in the demise of a lot of woofers and speakers all over the world. Kicking ass from the beginning Mohit recites some lines which are very ‘rebellion’ in nature and then the song reaches the HIGH when Mohit along with the chorus cries out ‘Sadddaaaa Haq’. Trust me, when someone sings from heart, it reaches your heart and this so called SCREAM does exactly that. Cannot recall a song in the near future which shakes you up (in a good way) as this one. I could write an entire post on this song but I will stop. Do check this song out even if you feel it is a rip off from here there or somewhere (because I know such tribe exists who cannot accept a good thing from INDIAN composer you see).

Special mention – Would have been too easy for Imtiaz ali and AR Rahman to have opted for Ranbir’s voice at the beginning of the song but thankfully they have used Mohit chauhan. Keeps the wholesome feel alive to the song.

11. Tum ho – Mohit and Suzanne – Romantica! Aha! Suzanne shines in the background (like always) and Mohit chauhan does a vocal waltz around that feeling of someone’s presence and how he has lost himself and gained love. The song lasts for about 5 mins or so but ends leaving you wanting for more. Strange isn’t it? The tune is more or less similar to ‘Tum Ko’ mentioned above. I am yet to make an opinion about the song. Any help on this would be much appreciated 🙂

12. Tango for Taj – Here is a tango piece which is very old piece and signature Rahman. A typical song which if treated well will be a visual treat. The constant piano and the claps are just too good too be in a piece which just lasts for about 3 minutes. Two thumbs up.

13. The Dichotomy of Fame – Shehnai! oh how i have missed you after ‘Swades’ song. After opening this piece beautifully the shehnai mixes well with the rest of the instruments, yet enjoys a ‘lead vocal’ status. Just too good a piece to miss.

14. The Meeting Place – Ranbir Kapoor says one sentence and vanishes…leaving you with much curiosity about the film. No, I won’t write it here. Go discover yourself. In a way, this piece might give away the ending of this film. Or may be not. Spoiler? Let’s see.

This album is undoubtedly a coming of age experience for Mohit Chauhan because he has shouted and romanced at many different levels. A special mention for the master lyricist Irshad Kamil. It’s almost taken for granted that a rock album will have a ‘woofer-phaadu’ music but the character of the songs come out when the lyrics are powerful and it is certainly the case here.

AR Rahman and Imtiaz Ali have gone to the press stating that they have invested a lot of time in this album and when you hear it, you feel they might be right!

Rating – 4/5

So which track are you playing in loop?

(PS – For the complete credit list of the songs, click here.)

(PS1 – For more posts by Rohwit, you can check his blog )

  1. AJ says:

    Every song on the album feels like a poetry in painting.

    ‘Tum Ko’ & ‘Aur Ho’ are my least favorite tracks from the album, but the rest of the album has a massive repeat-value to it.

    If I was asked to play just 1 track on a loop from Rockstar then it has to be … aaah damn. That would be a very difficult choice to make. I probably have to spin the album for the 10th time to zero down on my favorite. 😀

    P.S. ‘Tango For Taj’ is mesmerizing & the first thing that came to my mind was Yann Tiersen.

  2. MT says:

    Surprising pick for me – Sheher. I am expecting it to be a good watch on screen. There is a kamina smile all throughout the song. Singer’s apparent enjoyment is almost visible all throughout the song..

    ” Lyrics to dhum macheyege MP, Bihar mein”. 🙂

    • @Rohwit says:

      MT, isnt it UP bihar? Yes it is a fun song….cheers!

      • MT says:

        Rohwit – My bad. It is UP, Bihar. As with every Rahman album, there are songs that grow over you on repeated listening. Songs playing on loop ever since, I laid my hands on the tracks. Thanks, Rohwit, for pointing us in the right direction.

  3. Honhaar Goonda says:

    This soundtrack would’ve been Rahman’s most challenging work since Lagaan because he had to limit himself here with one singer and a set of musical instruments. He likes variations, etc. Also, would it be fair to say, this is one of his acoustic work? Less of synthesiser work? It is good, but you always want something more from Rahman. I still can’t decide which is my favourite because there isn’t a song that stands above the rest. It can because all songs are equally good or average.

    Rahman is my favourite voice and Mohit to overshadow him in Kun Faayaa is very refreshing and have to give credit to Rahman there. It would’ve been easy for him to take all the limelight, but he knew what was right to do.

    Haawa Haawa is so Paitra. Also there is a bit of that Udit’s song from Guru. But it is also sounds like a Kishoreda song. Quite like it, though.

    Most of the songs ends with a sort of signature sign off tune – you normally hear when they are doing a live session or in a concert – and love sign off bit in Jo Bhi Main. Worth listening to entire song for just that finish bit.

    Anyway, Dilli 6 is miles better than this, but it is still better than rest of what we hear…

  4. ladynimueN says:

    yes ! ARR is abck ! and how ! Sadda haq [ whatever less was there around] never so left my playlist, when I finally got the whole song .. minnnddd blowing !!! totallllly !!!! 😀 And last night was spent hearing the whole album in loop .. Nadan parindey .. sigh !! can not stop playing it in loop .. Also loved hawa hawa .. no reason but it kinda makes me smile so much 😀

    Nice post Rohit !


    And yes, another thanks for all the “goodies” you send to my mailbox !!

  5. As of now, i’m a huge fan of ‘Sadda Haq’ and ‘Kun Faya Kun’ ..but thanks to you and all other songs that you sent, i’m sure i’ll second what you’ve described in this post!

    Rockstar’s music rocks… courtesy the musical engineer from Madras!!

    Keep writing.

  6. @Rohwit says:

    Poetry in writing indeed..very well put AJ! Yann tierson!!! Very nice cross referencing…cheeers!

  7. Heard Kun Faaya Kun , Sadda Haq, Kateya Karoon and Phir se ud chala. Will go through entire album now. Seems its going to be album of the year , Mohit Chauhan’s voice is refreshing as always . Imtiaz Ali must be a happy man

  8. shiva_carnage says:

    I think this soundtrack is an overdose of Mohit Chauhan…its not as good as being made out to be…Kun Faya Kun easily stands out…Rahman could have done better with fewer tracks…though we know Rahman is capable of everything in music (imaginable or unimaginable by a normal being)…its not necessary you have to include punjabi,arabic,sufi everything in a single album……still he could have stuck to fewer and guitar-oriented tracks…whats the point of Kateya Karun…Sheher Me was not required too…
    I think only Rahman is a position to do whatever he wants in India…still people like Imtiaz Ali ( who has a strange and inexplicable penchant for punjabi culture and music) are there to include some totally unnecessary tracks in an album called Rockstar…its just an album for me as Rahman is there…not excited about the movie at all…it is going to be just another Jab We Met,Love Ajkal (which were rubbish as well) sort of affair…showing things which just don’t happen…people get happy watching them,considering it very bold,brave or whatever…call it a different cinema but actually its plain rubbish…but riding on the wave of populism they such movies do well…as usually…!!

    • @Rohwit says:

      Hi Shiva

      Not sure why we are jumping to ‘analyze’ the film by it’s soundtrack, but I vehemently disagree on your point to include ‘sheher me’. Hear it again if you wish, it is a situation oriented song. In fact the song creates a scene in front of you and believe it or not has a hint of sweetness to it. But we can agree to disagree.

      Am with you on the point that AR Rahman is in that place where he can do whatever he wants and that’s a good thing, but are you forgetting that this is a film album and rather than being all ‘RAHMAN-ish’ about it, ARR has surrendered himself to the narration of Imtiaz ali. Let’s see the film and then jump to conclusions.

      Since you apparently dislike film music, here is a short write up on AR Rahman’s non filmi album

      Am sure you have heard it already


      • Rohit:

        Yes I agree,I am jumping to analyze the movie here a bit early…because Imtiaz Ali movies have become highly overrated and got acclaim which they certainly didn’t deserve…well thats my personal opinion…so the unnecessary buzz about this movie sometimes gets annoying…thats why I said I am not exactly waiting with a bated breath for this movie…!!

        I also agree that Rahman can’t get full throttle on our filmi albums…in this case,still I don’t know why…less number of tracks…that too guitar-oriented was what I was expecting…but then album’s commercial appeal would have become rather dubious I guess in our Bollywood music scenario…where people just don’t even try to listen to any other genre of music…whats left is Punjabi music (which already has penetrated deep enough)…so Imtiaz Ali has covered all grounds for his movie…!!

        Yes I remember Connections…and Jiya se Jiya was signature track for the album…I think it came bundled with Nokia Express Music phones in around early 2009 (felt sad because I just bought a Nokia Express Music in late 2008)…really liked the Mosquito and Mylapur Blues…what was disappointing though was the fact that in the original album(atleast the one I had) Karthik had sung the Jiya se Jiya track which was being advertised as being sung by ARR in videos and it was actually sung by Rahman in the promotional videos,I am sure of that…!!

        Apart from this do you have any idea about “Superheavy”…Rahman project with Mick Jagger and all…have they released all the tracks…can’t find it on Internet though…!!

  9. Arvind says:

    Rohit- Excellent review !My current favourite is “Aur Ho”…just love the way the song ebbs and flows. Simply brilliant.

  10. Vijay says:

    Ganey ek dum acchey nahi hai. promos bhi kuch khaas nahi hai, still i am a big fan of Imtiyaz Ali.
    Kaam hum naam key parey logon ko aankana shuru karengay.

  11. Sheraz says:

    Thanks for the post. I read the review if joginder on indiafm n ws really upset. I don’t know, on wht stuff he wz while writing tht review. I hope, he get sacked frm tht job after writing tht review. Yup, I truly go with u, this album will be truly “the best” of the year, and all the songs describe different story and for me ” originality” is one of the aspect tht shouldn’t be miss in any sort of music n Rahman always lice these excpectations. Two thumbs up for team rockstar. And hats off to moifightclub for writing such insightful analysis.

  12. Manish says:

    Nice review. I only read milliblog’s reviews but your review does full justice to the album

  13. @ AJ:

    A sharp find. i juz noticed the resemblance of yann tiersen, googled, n then i landed up on ur comment 🙂

  14. Fatema says:

    It’s a very unlike Rehman album. His music generally grips you on the first few hearings. This one takes time to grow on you. But fantastic all the same. But, the hero of every song is the lyrics and not the music really. Innocous and the beauty is very missable but once you tune into the words the subtlety is powerful…Kun Faaya remains an exception though.

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